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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John May, 13 June 1836

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
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“Keswick, June 13. 1836.
“My dear Friend,

“Time passes on so rapidly with me in the regular course of constant occupation, that it seems only a few days since that letter arrived which yours of this morning reminds me is two months old. . . . .

“There is no change in my poor Edith, nor is there likely to be any. Thank God there is no suffering, not even so much as in a dream (of this I am fully convinced), and her bodily health is better than it had been for very many years

“Only one of my daughters is with me at present. Kate has been prevailed on to go to Rydal, and if it be possible to remove poor Dora Wordsworth to the coast (which is her only chance of recovery), she will go with her. The loss of Miss Hutchinson, which was the greatest we could have sustained out of our own nearest kin, has drawn the bonds of affection closer between dear Dora and my daughters, who were almost equally dear to the dead. . . . .

Ætat. 60. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 295

“You will not wonder that the Life of Cowper was a subject better suited to my own state of mind at this time than almost any other could have been. It was something like relief to have thoughts, from which it is not possible that I could escape, diverted as it were from home. There are passages which I dare say you will have perceived would not have been written unless I had had something more than a theoretical knowledge of this most awful of all maladies. . . . .

“I shall be very glad to see John Coleridge. The bishop sent me his kind remembrances from Demerara the other day. You ask if there be any likelihood of seeing me in town? Not at present; nor is it possible for me to say when it may be fitting for me to leave home. My presence, though it may be little comfort to my poor wife, is a very great one to my daughters; my spirits help to keep up theirs, and with what they have to do for me in the way of transcribing, and the arrival of letters and packets which would cease during my absence, they would feel a great blank were they left to themselves. In her quieter moods, too, my poor Edith shows a feeling towards me, the last, perhaps, which will be utterly extirpated. How often am I reminded of my own lines, and made to feel what a woeful thing it is—
‘When the poor flesh surviving, doth entomb
The reasonable soul.’

“You and I, my dear friend, have been afflicted in different ways, and both heavily. But the time is not far distant when we shall have all losses re-
stored, and understand that the ways of Providence are always merciful to those who put their trust in it.

Bedford and his cousin, Miss Page, are coming to lodge at the foot of the garden in the course of a fortnight. I have known him from the year 1788; we became familiar in 1790, intimate in 1791, and have kept up a constant and most intimate intercourse ever since. So you may suppose how much I shall enjoy his society. Mary Page, too, is the oldest of my female friends.

“God bless you, my dear old friend! and believe me always,

Yours most affectionately,
Robert Southey.”